Tag Archives: vampires

October 31

October Online ebook club wrap-up: Dracula

This month we looked at classic horror for our online ebook club. Dracula by Bram Stoker, published in 1896 is a novel that has inspired hundreds of film adaptations, plays and other cultural works. For those that don’t know the story, it follows a group of English men and women, led by an intrepid Dutchman, […]

Charlaine Harris’s Southern Vampire Series – behind the scenes of True Blood

            While her writing style may not be suited to everyone’s taste, Charlaine Harris’s Southern Vampire Mysteries, which the HBO television series True Blood is based on, is nothing short of entertaining.   I first started reading the series with the first novel, Dead until Dark, well before the show, and when the series […]

The Passage – Justin Cronin

Ok – so I while I enjoyed this book and it really did keep me entertained for its 700+ pages, I ultimately found myself underwhelmed by it. I’d first heard of The Passage when it was published in 2010. After reading a glowing review about it, I quickly added it to my reading ‘Bucket List’. […]

Archangel Novels

Archangel’s Blade by Nalini Singh  I didn’t think that there would be a better series than the Psy-Changeling novels by Nalini Singh, but if you liked that series, then do yourself a favour and read the Archangel novels.  Archangel’s Blade is the fourth book in the series. It starts with Angel’s Blood, followed by Archangel’s […]

The Spider Goddess

Tara Moss continues her paranormal book series with a second book, The Spider Goddess. In this story the reader is taken further into the life of Pandora English as she has some fun with knitwear, designers & supermodels while battling it out with the supernatural weirdness that has plagued her life since moving in with her great aunt Celia. With the help of her great aunt and a good looking ghost named Lieutenant Luke, Pandora starts to understand that she is the heir to a great gift & posses the ability to submerge into the other world.

This second novel is even better than the first as it hints at more to be revealed about the supernatural, its every bit as fun as the first only creepier! There are scenes that made my skin crawl & if you have a particular phobia of spiders you should be prepared that there are some spine tingling moments.

While Tara Moss gives her central character, Pandora, the main focus the supporting characters are also developing nicely. The reader will learn more about Lieutenant Luke’s visits, great aunt Celia’s strange relationship with the undead & exploration and reference to ancient legends and mythology.

It’s an amazing reinterpretation of the classic horror characters & the names like Pandora, Morticia & Deus provide an additional spooky element . This series can be read by all ages & dabbles in various genres – supernatural, chick lit, historical fiction, fantasy and thriller so it can be enjoyed by many. I think if you liked the first one, you will love this second installment. I can’t wait for the third book 🙂

Paranormal Romance

 SHUSH…I’M READING Who doesn’t love to read a good romance and even better is a romance with a paranormal twist. Just imagine the hottest guy you know, now make him stronger, faster and with a code of honor that is unbreakable. (Okay, you may be able to tweak the code of honor a bit, but […]

Let Me In….

Not Twilight, not Vampire Diaries, not True Blood but a completely different take on the vampire life! This is Let Me In, a film adaptation of John Ajvide Lindqvists’ novel. How does it differ from the above vampire book to screen adaptations? Rather than romanticising the vampire lifestyle, Let Me In explores the vampire curse. It portrays the vampire life as a sad, lonely, violent and evil existence.

The story opens up with Owen, a 12 year old boy who is being bullied by three other students at his school. Owen is a feeble, quiet boy who is struggling to fit in so he is a prime target for the bullies. He has no friends until a strange girl, named Abby moves in next door. There is something really weird about Abby but Owen ignore this and the two become friends.

When a number of grizzly murders take place Owen learns the truth about Abby, she is a vampire. This terrifies him of course but she is the only friend he has to talk to and she has given him the confidence to stand up against the school bullies.

They both know the friendship is wrong but their attraction is too strong for them to resist. Yes, ok this is starting to sound like your typical human-vampire love fest but give it a chance and you will see the romance is totally downplayed. Instead it’s Owen’s sad adolescent existence and Abby’s evil vampire lifestyle that really come through in the story.

I have not read this book but I was completely absorbed by the film. The struggle of good vs. evil, light vs. dark is really compelling viewing. It definitely has a Hitchcock feel. I couldn’t help sympathising with Abby, the vampire. I enjoyed this movie and recommend it to people who are into the vampire genre but are over the Twilight euphoria.

The Kiss of Death for Fantasy Friday

Friday again … and Christmas Eve! What better pre-Christmas present than a fantasy review for Fantasy Friday with extra added vampires. So festive!

Now, the last time I wrote enthusiastically about a vampire novel it was My swordhand is singing back in July. And The kiss of Death by Marcus Sedgwick is a sequel, of sorts, set more than 100 years later and 900 kms to the west of the cold forests of Romania. At the north-west tip of the Adriatic Sea is a shallow lagoon, protected from the sea by narrow strips of land. And the jewel at the heart of the lagoon is Venice – a city unlike any other.

Marko has ventured to Venice, from across the Adriatic, in search of his missing father, and discovers that his absence is tied up with a curse on the Bellini family – their home is referred to as the House that Kills. Simono Bellini is dying for lack of sleep like his father before him, and his daughter Sorrel lives in fear that this curse will pass to her. Marko is not at all what she had hoped for as a hero, but the two young people find that they must work together if they are to evade the malevolent minions of the Shadow Queen, discover whom they can trust and save both their fathers.

Sedgwick writes for teens, and has a deceptively simple style. Although this novel does not have a great many actual vampires in it, I’m pitching for quality over quantity, and evocative descriptions of the twisted streets of the early 18th century city, and the tainted beauty of La Serenissima (a city that seems to float serenely above the lagoon, even as it rots and sinks slowly into its own waste) perfectly set the scene for this tale of gothic horror. Here’s a sample:

Then there was screaming, and it was real screaming , which sank deep into the sleeping heart of Marko’s brain, and was flung across the early morning waters of the lagoon, where it would hang for hours before finally evaporating.

And with that lovely imagery of a scream hanging, like mist over the water, I shall wish any and all of book coasters readers a very happy holiday. I hope you get to spend a good part of it reading.

The Radleys..a vampire family

The Radleys by Matt Haig

Yet another vampire story that deserves 5 stars, its all engrossing and very well written. I love this genre! This book caught my attention as its is similar to Twilight, a series I really enjoyed. (I’m not a fan of the movies). So in The radleys, an apparently average family who are actually abstaining vampires, each have their own reasons for not wanting to drain the blood out of unsuspecting humans. The parents, Peter and Helen, want to obey the law and live a normal life, and the children are unaware of their vampire heritage. However, they all suffer incredible cravings and vivid nightmares that lead to a ghastly, violent act that puts the whole family in danger. Their secret has been revealed! The family seeks out refuge with Peter’s brother, a loud and proud vampire who simply refuses to change his vampire way of life. The family struggle living with the brother and it’s a constant battle for each of them as they are torn between their blood sucking cravings and their desire for a normal life. This book includes a bit of Twilight, a bit of True Blood and a bit of The Brady Bunch all mixed into one compelling fun story.

The passage …a new, much improved vampire saga!

Tired of vampires? Not another vampire saga you say…I know I know enough already? Well not so fast. This is a different kind of vampire book. (no sparkles and no teen romance here!) Instead its a post apocalyptic story based around the Virals, which are essentially vampire like creatures and very scary. A fast spreading virus has turned everyone into Virals, all except for a group of survivors. This group, they call themselves The Colony, band together against the Virals in hope of one day restoring the human race. The Colony have a simple government system set up, everyone has a role they have been trained to fulfil. The point of it all is simply their own immediate survival. Except that the lights that come on every night run on battery power. And batteries were never designed to last for ever. The lights will be going out and when they do, there will be bloodshed. Everyone has seen the effects of those taken by the Virals. Death is hoped for, the alternative is unimaginable.

This book reminded me of The Stand by Stephen King, where Cronin scores better than recent King, in my opinion, is the greater depth he provides to his characters. Much of the book’s length is spent adding detail that makes the characters real, and makes their characterisation stick. You really do care about these people! The ending is abrupt but striking, and opens things up for the next instalments. I’m definitely looking forward to reading the other two books that complete the trilogy, coming in 2012.